In september 2015 Vacheron Constantin unveiled the most complicated watch ever seen. A pocketwatch with 57 complications known as ref 57260. The development of the superpocketwatch took 8 years for 3 superwatchmakers. Now Vacheron Constantin have let the same three watchmakers come up with a series of new watches based on the complications from ref 57260. In this first watch,Montre Pièce Unique Calibre 1990, they ended up using a double retrograde system and an armillary tourbillon.
The Caliber 1990 have both retrograde hours and minutes with instant flyback.
The tourbillon system is based on a 1880s astronomical watch with an armillary sphere. The balancespring have a spherical design that is making the two axis rotation possible. That is as far as I got before my head almost exploded. If you need more details, check out at Vacheron Constantin. Link below.
No matter how complicated in mechanics and theory, this watch is simply beautiful. In my opinion this watch represents a radical new direction for Vacheron Constantin. They usually tend to keep it classic and conservative. This is a push towards avant garde that I find fascinating and promising. I like it!
The watch is one of a kind with a 45.7 mm case in 18K white gold. 20 mm thick. The price is unknown, but it will cost you!
Mercedes Benz W196 Silver Arrow is probably the sexiest race car in the history of car racing. I have had a lifelong dream to see one in the flesh. Last week I had the opportunity to grope one and I also got the chance to see the car start up after the mechanics had made it ready for racing again – see for yourself in video above.
The history of the Silver Arrows started with the W25 and a race in 1934 at Nürburgring. The car weighed in at 751 kg and the mechanics got the idea to strip the car of the white paint to get it below the 750 kg limit. During those years each country had their own racing color. Britain had green cars, the french where blue, the italians red and the german cars where white. In 1934 the Mercedes crew stripped off the white paint and presented the car naked in it’s shining silver aluminium body. The history is complete when the car won the race and the nickname Silver Arrow where established.
In 1937 Mercedes Benz presented the W125 which held the record of being the most powerful racing car in history, with it’s 646 hp, until the Formula 1 cars during the mid 1980s. In controlled speed tests this car reached above 400 km/h (249 m/h) back in 1937.
The Monza body, also called the Streamliner, was the first edition of the Silver Arrow W196. It was a fast car on the straight stretches of a racetrack, but it did not handle turns very well so it was quickly rebuilt for Formula 1. By almost removing the whole body of the car it won the next races as Monoposto.
During the 1954 and 1955 seasons Mercedes ended their racing commitment with the Silver Arrow W196 Monoposto. Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss won 9 out of 12 races these seasons. And they also on the world championship both seasons. After this there would be 30 more years before Mercedes went back to racing in the Formula 1.
These car have a reputation for being extremely difficult to handle. Since the cars are so valuable Mercedes only let a handful of very experienced drivers enter the car. When the cars entered Goodwood 74th, a historical car race, it was Mika Häkkinen behind the wheel.
Goodwood Members Meeting 74th started today on March 19th. Traditionally this is England’s most prestigious meeting for classic cars. Every year Lord March invites cars, owners and enthusiasts to recreate the atmosphere of car racing in the 50s and 60s at his Goodwood estate in Chichester.
This year there will be 12 races during a full weekend. To me the highlight is in Group 5 for race cars and Silver Arrows. The event brings lots of opportunities to see classic cars and race cars that really belong in a museum.
A week before Goodwood 74th I joined in on getting the Silver Arrows ready for racing. Before a race like this the cars are separated into parts and then rebuilt and tuned by specialized mechanics with Mercedes in Stuttgart.
The watch manufacture IWC Schaffhausen introduced three classically inspired Ingenieur models at this years Goodwood festival. IWC took upon them the responsibility to ship the legendary W196 og W25 Silver Arrows to England for this event. Since their partnership started with Formula 1 in 2013 the Mercedes AMG Petronas and IWC Schaffhausen have emphasized their fellow values for technical innovation and workmanship. This is also why the Ingenieurs these last few years have had the more modern design expression of Gérald Genta. With the new classic design on the Ingenieur chronographs IWC will connect racing history with watchmaking history. The bond between IWC and Mercedes AMG again makes a lot of sense and in my opinion it grows stronger as we clearly can see the history and tradition from both brands connected.
Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “74th Members’ Meeting at Goodwood” is all about this yearsevent at the southern coast of England. The watch is limited to 74 pieces and comes in a solid red gold case at 42 mm. This case have a more classic expression in contrast to the more technically inspired case from Gérald Gentas typical Ingenieur design. The black dial with the three subdials and tachymeter scale is evidently inspired by the dashboard of a classic sports car. (Ref IW380703)
Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola” is a steel watch measuring in at 42 mm and limited to 750 pieces. Rudolf Caracciola was a legendary race car driver who won three european championships in the 1930s. (Ref IW380702)
Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “W125” is picking up on the design from Mercedes Benz W125 Silver Arrow. During the 1930s these cars dominated all the prestigious races. Now IWC presents a great looking 42 mm titanium chronograph limited to 750 pieces.
All these special edition chronographs will be powered by the new in-House calibre 69370 from IWC. Finally IWC launches a new column-wheel movement from inside it’s own quarters. It is nothing more than fantastic news in my opinion. They now have a self-designed and self-built chronograph movement with 46 hours power reserve beating at 4 Hz. How wonderful!